I wouldn’t be where I am today without you: Faculty Change Students’ Lives

When it comes to working with students, Westminster faculty are known for forging lifelong friendships and changing lives. Below, five students share what their faculty mentors mean to them.

Claire Gibby ’16 and Dr. Tobias Gibson, Associate Professor of Political Science

Claire Gibby '16 Tobias GibsonMy faculty mentor is Tobias Gibson. His courses are challenging, and they push me outside of my comfort zone. He demands excellence from his students, and I strive to meet his expectations. His expertise on the U.S. government and its security has opened my eyes to all there is to learn about the topic. He takes special interest in his students and their success, both inside and outside of the classroom. The security studies program that Tobias brought to Westminster has provided me with knowledge, opportunity, and a relationship; all of these things are available to me because of the small, liberal arts community found at Westminster. I am not sure that I would be where I am today if not for the skills I have developed as a Tobias Gibson student.

From Little Rock, Arkansas, Claire is a double major in Political Science and Security Studies. After Westminster, she plans to attend law school.


Allegra Squitieri ’15 and Dr. Linda Aulgur, Professor of Education

Westminster has many inspiring faculty and staff mentors that bring out the best in each Suitieri Allegra '15 and Dr. Aulgur (web version)and every one of us. At Westminster College, of all the faculty and staff mentors, I believe that Dr. Aulgur has inspired me the most to pursue my passion and dream of teaching children. In any education class with Dr. Aulgur, the passion, excitement, and dedication she displays is clearly evident in everything she teaches and presents to the class. Dr. Aulgur motivates, encourages, and challenges education majors to follow their heart, make mistakes, reflect and learn from them, and to put 100% into everything we do today and in the future.

From St. Louis, Missouri, Allegra is majoring in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. After Westminster, she plans to pursue a Master’s in Special Education.


Emily Kesel ’15 and Dr. Maureen Tuthill, Chair of the English Department

Emily Kesel '17 and Dr. Tuthill (web version)Although she is not my advisor, my faculty mentor is without a doubt Dr. Maureen Tuthill.  Since my freshman year, two things have been constant for me:  not really knowing what I want to do with my life and writing sports stories for The Columns.  Last year in a meeting with Dr. Tuthill, she told me that my stories were always really good and that I could be successful in journalism.  As I was planning to major in education at the time, I did not take this seriously at first, but over time, and with more encouragement from Dr. Tuthill, I began to believe that journalistic writing could be a great future for me.   Now I am working as in intern for HER Magazine in Jefferson City and will graduate in May as an English major in hopes to continue my writing career.  If not for Dr. Tuthill, I would never have realized what a rewarding and fun field this would be.

From Bonnots Mill, MO, Emily is an English major. After Westminster, she plans to enter the journalism field and work at a magazine or as a sports writer. 


Blake Stonecipher ’16 and Professor Elise Bartley, Assistant Professor of AccountingBlake Stonecipher '16 Elise Bartley

Professor Bartley has not only taught me an incredible amount about accounting, she has also helped encourage me to stick to this career path that can be very demanding yet very rewarding.

From Wildwood, MO, Blake is a double major in Accounting and Business Administration. After graduation, he plans to take the CPA exam and work for a public accounting firm.


Haylee Rethman ’14

Dr. Bob Cowles, Assistant Professor of Education
Dr. Cowles has always been one of my role models.  He, like the rest of his colleagues in the Education Department, is alwayspick1 willing to make time for his students.  He provides an outstanding example for those around him in the form of character, preparedness, and kindness; and I’ve never seen him be anything but positive, articulate, poised, and professional in the four years that I have known him.

Keith Hardeman, Professor of Speech Communication
Professor Hardeman is one of the hardest-working people I’ve met in college.  I always see him in his office well after his usual office hours, and he is always prompt and professional in nature.  He is also very considerate and wants all of his students to succeed.

Dr. Cinnamon Brown, Assistant Professor of History
Dr. Brown is an inspiration as a person, professor, and woman.  She is confident and strong, and she never gives up.  Her fighting for what she believes in and infallible ethics and her leading by example gives me the confidence to go out into the world head-on after I graduate and take on anything that life has to offer with confidence.

From Clever, MO, Haylee is majoring in Secondary Education, English, and Spanish. After she graduates in December, she plans to attend graduate school at the University of Missouri Fellows Program in Columbia, MO.

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